In a late Friday afternoon announcement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced his plans to recommend no changes to Arizona’s Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in a final report due to President Trump later this month.
Today, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke received recommendations from his staff to reduce conservation efforts that currently protect the iconic sage grouse and its habitat, risking the survival of this bird and the more than 350 species these same lands support.
SAN DIEGO, August 1, 2017— This week, San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization protecting and restoring San Diego County’s fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, published its 2016 San Diego County Water Quality Report. The organization’s data show an overall improvement in San Diego’s water quality for the first time since 2013.
“This is great news. Of course, a single year of overall better water quality readings does not mean San Diego’s water will keep improving. It takes many years for patterns to emerge,” says San Diego Coastkeeper Lab Manager Meredith Meyers. “That’s why our long-term water monitoring is so crucial. We can provide decision-makers with the big picture and that makes for more effective, data-based policy.”
Urban runoff continues to be the largest factor impacting people’s ability to safely fish and swim in San Diego County. Rain takes pollution from the surfaces of our streets into our storm drains, where it travels through to our rivers and streams and ultimately, to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the overwhelming majority of San Diego’s waterways fail to the meet water quality standards that make them safe for recreation.
Though the cause of last year’s improved results can’t be directly identified, and Coastkeeper scientists caution against giving too much credit to any one theory, there are a few ideas about why water quality looked a little better in 2016.
“Temporary water conservation regulations, implemented in response to the drought, may have helped water quality improve. When San Diegans prioritize conservation over lush lawns, reduced fertilizer use and fewer lawn sprinklers overflowing onto sidewalks means less pollution washing from the street into our rivers and streams,” says Meyers. “It’s impossible to know for sure, but it’s one idea that makes sense.”
San Diego Coastkeeper collects monthly water quality data from across the County through its volunteer-powered Water Quality Monitoring program. The program, which is the largest of its kind in California, trains citizen scientists to collect vital water quality data to fill gaps and increase the amount of publically available data.. In 2016, 152 trained volunteers gave a collective 1,908 hours.
“Our Water Quality Monitors are more dedicated than ever. Participation was so consistent last year we were able to reduce the number of new volunteers we needed to bring on board to maintain the program,” says Meyers. “The dedication of our trained monitors has allowed us to put even more resources straight into the monitoring itself, and has improved the program as a whole.”
The organization uses a suite of indicators to calculate an overall 2016 Water Quality Score for different watersheds across San Diego County. For the first time since 2013, some of San Diego County’s watersheds surpassed the “Fair” rating on the Water Quality Index,” reaching “Good.” Each watershed below is linked to more details about the watershed’s 2016 water quality:
- San Luis Rey 82 Good
- Buena Vista 78 Fair
- San Marcos (Batiquitos) 79 Fair
- Escondido Creek 72 Fair
- Peñasquitos 76 Fair
- Rose Creek 87 Good
- San Dieguito 78 Fair
- San Diego 72 Fair
- Pueblo 56 Marginal
- Sweetwater 74 Fair (20 percent improvement from 2015)
- Otay 70 Fair
- Tijuana N/A (unsafe to test because of sewage contamination)
“Every year, our results continue to show that water quality is defined by all of us. There’s no single source of pollution poisoning our environment; it’s all of our daily actions that determine our water quality,” says Meyers. “Whenever you pick up a piece of litter, fix a leaky sprinkler or forgo chemical fertilizers in your garden, you make a real impact. We all have the opportunity to take small actions that matter.”
After each month’s water sampling, San Diego Coastkeeper updates its online, color-coded water quality map. See June 2017’s water quality results.
As a trained Water Quality Monitor, volunteers can learn how to generate vital, scientifically sound data to better inform decision-makers and the public. Visit San Diego Coastkeeper’s website to learn more, sign up for training, to view the 2017 water quality-monitoring schedule and to donate to help the organization continue doing this important work.
San Diego Coastkeeper
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.
It is with great excitement I Love A Clean San Diego announces the date of our fall social event, “Brews by the Bay!”
Brews by the Bay
ILACSD Fall Social Fundraiser
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Catamaran Hotel and Resort
3999 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
Please join ILACSD as we celebrate another year of making a positive difference in our community through environmental education and direct action to protect our precious home.
An evening not to be missed, “Brews by the Bay” will be held on Thursday, October 12th from 5:30-8:30 pm at the iconic Catamaran Hotel and Resort. This lovely evening will include hosted beverages, delicious food, photo booth, live music, raffle, an exciting silent auction, and a special awards ceremony where we will honor those in our community who are making an incredible difference through their dedication to protecting the environment.
Guests will also enjoy fun games, an “Octoberfest Beers & Bites” activity, and much more! Silent auction items include such great prizes as high-end Sony photography equipment, a Hawaiian vacation, Disneyland passes, wine tasting baskets, and many other fabulous treats! Business casual attire is encouraged, but this event will be outdoors on the beautiful Catamaran grounds, so please wear comfortable shoes.
Tickets are $45 and can be found online here. A limited number of tickets will be available online the week of the event and at the door for $50 each. Get your tickets early and save!
Don’t miss out on this wonderful event for an even better cause, our beautiful San Diego!
Limited sponsorship opportunities available, please contact Janelle Hickey at email@example.com for more information
We can’t wait to see you at “Brews by the Bay!”
Tickets are $45 August 1st – October 8th
Tickets are $50 October 9th – October 12th
For more information, please visit www.cleansd.org or call 619-291-0103.
Drawdown Offers 100 Uplifting Climate Solutions
If our current administration’s head-in-the-sand approach to climate change leaves you with a sinking feeling, I’ve got just the book to buoy you: Paul Hawken’s Drawdown.
Drawdown leapt onto the New York Times top ten bestseller list in its first week of release, validating Hawken’s belief that a positive approach to this potentially overwhelming crisis is the best way to address it. He characterizes global warming not “as an inevitability, but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change.”
The Project Drawdown campaign invites you to join a global community of visionary individuals who’ve got an astonishing range of ideas on how we can tackle our climate crisis, no matter where we live or who governs us.
Even if you just leaf (or scroll) casually through the list of amazing breakthroughs that Hawken and his Drawdown colleagues have so painstakingly compiled and ranked according to their potential effectiveness, you can’t help being inspired and encouraged by all these ‘silver bbs.’ It makes for a surprisingly fun and fascinating read.
Lego (yes, the toy company) is doing wind power in Liverpool. The French have invented photovoltaic pavement. More universal solutions we can all adopt include limiting food waste and embracing a plant-based diet, which Drawdown ranks as the 3rd and 4th most powerful strategies to reduce our emissions. Drawdown provides an extensive list of agriculture-related climate change solutions being developed or already in use all over the world that we can encourage through our food choices.
One of the most unexpected conclusions of the Drawdown researchers was that the empowerment of women and girls through family planning and education rank as the 6th and 7th most effective solutions.
Why is this? In developing nations in particular, women are the “stewards & managers of food, soil, trees, and water.” How we utilize these resources plays an integral role in determining whether we are contributing to, or reducing, our carbon footprint. As Drawdown notes, “the barriers are real, but so are the solutions.”
Hawken thinks framing these challenges as a battle does nothing to engage people who aren’t already on board, and it may even alienate potential allies. How do we enlist people of all political stripes to move us forward?
Drawdown points out that the Latin root of “conserve” means “to keep together.” A true conservative, then, would want to keep the planet we all share from being torn apart by greed, ignorance or fear. Or rendered uninhabitable, as it may be in a few generations if we don’t take action now.
In the book’s introduction, Tom Steyer, the philanthropist and founder of NextGen Climate, describes Project Drawdown as “a road map with a moral compass.” It’s hard to know where this country is headed, but I’d love to see Drawdown steer millions more of us onto Hawken’s hopeful highway. Traffic jam? Bring it on! We could get out of our cars and dance, a la La La Land. Doesn’t that beat feeling defeated?
Read all the Project Drawdown solutions here.
Fight Energy Waste from Your Phone
Have you noticed stores that keep their doors open while running the air conditioning on hot summer days? Has this bothered you? Now you can do something about it!
Join Keep It Cool, a national campaign mobilizing consumers to help convince retailers to close their doors and stop wasting energy.
Participating is easy. All you have to do is spot front doors on shops, and use Facebook Messenger to drop a pin on a national map that tracks all of the stores identified with doors open or closed.
The campaign organizers will recognize shops that “Keep It Cool” with closed doors and reach out to educate retailers who allow energy to escape through their open doors.
“Our Keep it Cool campaign empowers consumers to anonymously have an impact on wasteful behaviors in their own neighborhoods. And it gives retailers the opportunity to do the right thing and showcase their green values. This is good for business, the community and the environment,” said Nate McFarland, director of communications at Generation 180, the nonprofit organizer of the campaign committed to advancing a cultural shift in energy awareness and clean energy adoption.
Retailers that run the air conditioning during hot summer months and open their doors to attract customers drive up costs, waste energy and increase pollution. Just the simple act of closing doors can reduce pollution significantly.
On average, each store with a door open wastes about 4,200 kWh of electricity over the summer. Generating this much electricity releases about 2.2 tons of carbon dioxide – the same amount of pollution emitted by a diesel semi-truck driving from New York to Miami.
The success of Keep It Cool depends on you participating and sharing activities with your friends and social networks. Everyone who cares about the environment can join in the effort this summer to help make your community cleaner and smarter.